This is a big dual-holiday weekend, but even those hosting big family get-togethers for Passover and/or Easter (or, in some cases, both) might want to get out and about with family and friends, and there are some fun options…especially for animal lovers.
Starting today (Friday, March 30) and running through Sunday, April 1, from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. each day, the whole family can enjoy Big Bunny’s Spring Fling at the LA Zoo. The event features a “bounty of egg-citing spring activities,” including the Kiddle Karoo’s Easter Adventure live show, a family dance party, bunny and fuzzy critter close-ups, special zookeeper talks, a spring seed-planting craft, bunny-nose and whisker face painting, photos with “Big Bunny” himself (for a nominal fee), and more. All activities (except the photos) are free with paid Zoo admission or membership.
A bit closer to home, the Petersen Museum takes advantage of the last day of Women’s History Month with a presentation called Fueling Change: Women in the Auto Industry, at 12 p.m. on Saturday. From Bertha Benz’s contributions to the first practical car, through pioneering efforts by many other women to break into automotive industries, women have played an important role in the history of the car. Women have become lead designers and champion racers. Women have influenced how and why we produce cars. Women have brought attention to how traditionally male-dominated subjects can benefit from female voices, in turn serving as inspiration for a new generation of automotive enthusiasts. The panel discussion will feature several rising female stars of the automotive world, who will discuss the genesis of their interest in cars and how they were able to pursue this passion. The talk itself is free, but requires paid admission to the museum. Light refreshments will be served.
A bit later, at 2 p.m. on Saturday, head over to the John C. Fremont Library, 6121 Melrose Ave., for a one-man show – “Meeting F. Scott Fitzgerald” – in which actor/writer Larry Vanderveen assumes the role of legendary novelist F. Scott Fitzgerald and explores the life and times of the man who penned such classic American novels as The Great Gatsby and This Side of Paradise.
Also starting at 2 p.m. on Saturday is the big annual Blessing of the Animals, on downtown’s historic Olvera Street. The Blessing of the Animals has been a part of Olvera Street since its founding in 1930, but its practice dates back to the 4th century. In the early days of the pueblo, the priest from La Placita Church would bless farmers’ cows, goats and horses to keep them healthy and productive. When Olvera Street opened as a local attraction in 1930, the blessings were extended to include all animals, especially pets. Whether they live on land, in water, or fly in trees, all animals are now welcome to receive a blessing from Archbishop Jose Gomez. (And while the blessing is rooted in Catholic tradition, you do not have to be Catholic to participate.) The ceremony and blessing lasts approximately 1 hour, starting at 2 p.m., but the larger event features other family-friendly entertainment from 12 – 4 p.m. (Note: the line to receive a blessing begins at 1:00 p.m. and will be in front of the Pico House – please follow signs & instructions from event staff.)
Saturday night and Sunday are fairly quiet this week, due to the holidays, but on Sunday evening there is one great entertainment opportunity – a 5 p.m. screening of the Laurel and Hardy classic, “Sons of the Desert,” at the American Cinematheque’s Egyptian Theater in Hollywood. In classic vintage cinema style, the program will also include new restored prints of two short films, “Hog Wild” (1930, 19 min.), in which Laurel and Hardy struggle mightily to install a radio antenna on the roof of Ollie’s house….and “Brats” (1930, 21 min.), with Stan and Ollie in dual roles – as adults hoping to spend a quiet evening playing checkers, and as the mischievous kids who make that impossible. (This is the first time in 80 years that this film will be shown with the original Vitaphone soundtrack.)
Happy holidays…and have a great weekend!